News – ToucheGifts

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Our Birth Story

Our Birth Story

Every birth has a story, and giving birth to a store is no different! Many times I've said Touche` is my fifth child, born when my youngest graduated from high school. Touche` became official in August of 2012, after nearly a year of planning and several years topping my wish list of life goals. I knew I wanted to open my own shop, but I was uncertain about the details. When the new City Creek shopping center was in the works, that was my plan, to open a store in the new development.

It was a lofty goal, but I truly believed I could do it. I had secured the Vera Bradley line, and the City Creek planners wanted Vera Bradley at the mall. It took several meetings with the retail developer to take me seriously. Many times he asked for pictures of the store I wanted to duplicate; I would reply "John, I don't currently have a store, the point is I want to CREATE one!" By this time John (store development manager for Taubman Corporation) and I were on a first name basis and talked several times a week. He gave me lots of business advice and I advised him on my weekly Sunday School lesson. John told me two things that have stuck with me: 1. There is ALWAYS another opportunity awaiting, and 2. Everything is negotiable. That advice has stuck with me and proved valuable.

After months of negotiating a space and convincing John I was the real deal, I had a lease in hand. That was a bit scary and I questioned whether or not I REALLY wanted that lease after all. It was a HUGE monetary commitment, the hours were long, and I questioned whether it was the right fit for a local boutique. At the same time, an area of Bountiful's Main Street was undergoing redevelopment and I was very curious what that was all about. After expressing my concerns to my husband, he stopped by the construction site to check it out.

Within minutes of Dave's arrival on Main Street, I had a phone call from him, "I have the owner of the Main Street development on the line, come down and see what is going on." It was love at first sight for me - I loved the location on Main Street, I loved that it was two miles from home, and I loved the idea of being part of the local community. I knew immediately this was where Touche` needed to be. That was April 2012, and the rest is history!

The next four months were a whirlwind! The store was designed, legal documents filed, product ordered, and my family and friends put to work. Our garage was a workshop used for refinishing the antiques we have in the store, the dining room became the office space, and my entire house was filled with boxes of product ready to display. It was a crazy, busy, exciting time. It was a "learn as you go" experience with a lot of help along the way. We've morphed over the years - we sell more Hobo bags than Vera Bradley, our clothing selection has grown, our jewelry lines have changed, but we still have a great selection of gift items for the kitchen buff! Eight years later and with all the changes, Touche` is still my happy place.

Celebrate our birthday with 20 percent off all cake plates, pedestals, and platters in the store.

Cheers and Happy Birthday, Touche`!

Tami

Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

One of my favorite simple summer pasta dishes- pasta con salsa fresca. We have it for lunch weekly at the beach house in Italy. The sauce takes minutes to prepare and we let it sit and marinade while we are at the beach then toss it with hot pasta when we come home. I am laughing while I eat. I love it. I love the pasta and I love this moment. This describes the many moments at our family table in Italy- years and years on repeat. We eat. We discuss. We share. We yell (it’s the Italian way of “talking” when passionate- it took my husband years to understand this). We eat. We laugh. We love. That’s it. Mangia. Mangia. Life is short and we only have so much we can eat every day. Make it worth your time ️.

Made with Amore,

Elena

 

Ingredients

Sauce:

2 pints (560 grams) cherry tomatoes, diced

2 cloves garlic, slivered

1/4 cup fresh basil, torn by hand

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1 package (454 grams) good quality pasta

 

Salt for cooking pasta

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large serving bowl

  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on counter at lest 30 minutes before tossing with pasta

  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil

  4. Salt pasta water generously (about 10 grams of salt per liter of water)

  5. Cook pasta according to package until 'al dente'

  6. Drain pasta and toss with fresh tomato sauce

Enjoy warm or cold!

Let's Go Shopping!

Let's Go Shopping!

Our annual sidewalk sale signals the arrival of new merchandise. It's always fun to make room for new products coming in for the fall and holiday seasons, It's literally spring cleaning in July! In a normal year, I would be traveling to Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas to check out goods and put in orders for spring. Everything arriving now was ordered back in January and February. It's true, we ordered for holiday 2020 clear back in January!

I have such fun memories of going to market. The first time I went to Magic (one of the largest clothing shows in the country) I was completely overwhelmed. I had NO idea how to navigate the craziness of hundreds of vendors vying for the attendee's attention. I literally went back to my hotel room, ate the leftover peanut butter sandwich I'd packed with me the day before, and flew home the next morning. Since then, I've become more seasoned and know how to play the game a bit better.

Los Angeles is my favorite clothing market for children and for some women's lines as well. Dallas is my go-to for gifts - it's hard to beat that southern hospitality; Denver is very laid back and home to one of my favorite showrooms; and then there's Magic in Vegas - just plain crazy! It is HUGE, and crowded, and noisy, and over-the-top - like everything else in Vegas!

A few years ago I took my mom to Dallas. It was her first trip to that city and at 80 years old, probably her last. It was a chance to immerse her in my world and she now has a clear picture of this whole market scene when I talk about it. My daughter has often been my companion, but so have co-workers, my sisters, friends, and even my non-shopper husband went to the NY Toy Fair. Most of the time, they've all been great shopping companions and enjoy the "shopping on steroids" experience!

Truth be known, LA is my favorite place to go solo. I spend 12-hour days in showrooms, then crash at my hotel with take-out food and a good book. It's like my own mini vacation. The vendors have become dear friends and I look forward to our semi-annual visits. For the past five years, every time I've gone I have a new grandbaby or one on the way. They are so amused as their world consists of one, maybe two children, and those children have dogs - not babies!

Market season looks much different this year. Most shows have been cancelled and collections are being shown virtually. There is no "touch and feel" and I'm sure when goods start arriving for spring, we'll have some real hits as well as misses! In the meantime, I hope you find a few leftovers of some of our past favorites at this year's sidewalk sale. Here's to "out with the old to make room for the new."

Happy shopping friends!

Tam

Tips and Tricks for Puzzles

Tips and Tricks for Puzzles
Puzzling has become a favorite pastime as we’re hunkering down at home with limited options for entertainment.  Puzzles are considered a complete brain exercise since they use both the left and right sides. Whether your new to the hobby or a puzzling expert, there are strategies to help you complete your puzzle and eliminate the frustration that often comes with this hobby. Here are a few of our favorite tips:

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Sweetly Strawberry Shortcake

Sweetly Strawberry Shortcake

It’s berry season! This time of year I love berries best when they are served fresh as they are supremely sweet. This is by far the best biscuit recipe I’ve ever made. It is the perfect vehicle for fresh strawberries ( or any other berry) topped with mounds of freshly whipped cream. This biscuit recipe feeds a crowd, but you can freeze them for a couple of weeks so you always have some on hand. These biscuits are excellent savory with sausage and gravy too! Always serve biscuits fresh out of the oven and share with friends and family.
Made with Amore,
💗Elena
 

The. Best. Biscuits.

Adapted: Joanna Gains Magnolia Table
 
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups self-rising flour, plus more for the work surface (if you don’t have self rising flour look up how to make it with what you already have in your pantry)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) good quality butter, cold (freeze for 15 minutes), cut into 1/2-inch pieces or grated (I prefer grating with cheese grater)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, plus 1 large egg for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or as needed, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing (if you don’t have buttermilk look up how to make your own using milk)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the butter (either grated or cut) and use a pastry blender (or a fork) to cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are even and about the size of peas. DO NOT over mix. You want to see chunks of butter for it to become flaky after baking.
  2. Stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk until the dough comes together into a sticky mass. If it is too dry, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until it reaches the correct consistency. Don’t over mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Use your floured hands to press it into a round roughly 14 inches across and about 1/2-inch thick.
  5. Use a floured 2 3/4-inch round cutter (or an upside down cup- round shape) to cut out about 20 biscuits. If necessary, collect and pat out the scraps to cut more biscuits.
  6. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, arranging them so that they all are touching.
  7. In a small dish, beat together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon buttermilk. Brush the mixture on the top of the biscuits.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  9. Biscuits are best the day they are made (and ideally fresh out of the oven!). Serve with strawberry jam or gravy, if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
RECIPE NOTES
NOTE: For longer storage, arrange the biscuits about 1/2-inch apart on two parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and freeze until solid. Transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. There is no need to thaw them before baking.

Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup sugar (add more if you like sweeter)
  • 8 biscuits
  • Freshly Whipped heavy cream
  • 8 small mint sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar. Set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  2. Split the biscuits in half. Arrange the bottom halves on each of 8 plates.
  3. Layer whipped cream and strawberries on each biscuit. Place the remaining biscuit halves on top. Garnish with mint and serve.